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SSA 2012—SSA Strategy and Tactics for Growth (v.2)

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The 4 February 2012 version of a presentation by SSA Growth and Development Committee Chair Bill Daniels on SSA Strategy and Tactics for Growth that Bill presented at the 2012 Soaring Society of America convention in Reno, Nevada

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SSA 2012—SSA Strategy and Tactics for Growth (v.2)

  1. 1. Growth and Development Strategy and Tactics for Growth
  2. 2. Growth and Development We CAN Grow - We MUST Grow Growth is a good thing… • For the sport • For the SSA • For competition • For clubs • For commercial operators To be politically significant, we need at least 50,000 members
  3. 3.  SSA membership: 12,000 ( FAA: 28,896 glider pilots) − 195 member organizations  Instructors: 200 active (est.) − (FAA: ~2500 CFI-G certificate holders)  2-Seat gliders: 369 − (200 considered “trainers”)  Tow Planes: 206 − 119 Pawnees, 21 Cubs, 41 Cessna's, 25 other Growth and Development Who we are: Some numbers
  4. 4. Who we are: Training Capacity ~1200 students at any one time − Currently ~ 50% capacity Assumptions: − 200 trainers, 200 tugs, 200 instructors − Club operates ~75 days a year − Commercial operation ~300 days a year − Average student needs six calendar months and 60+ flights to a PP-G − Half of the students who start training will drop out Growth and Development
  5. 5. Potential for Growth US Census: − 200 million aged 14 – 60 − 200,000 with “Glider Gene” − These are “low hanging fruit” Assumptions: − 1 in 1000 carry “GG” − Predisposed to hear message − Will obsessively pursue soaring if properly introduced to the sport Growth and Development
  6. 6. Growth and Development Strategy: Raise Awareness Rolling Billboards: Trailer graphics
  7. 7. Strategy: Raise Awareness Television: PBS Cloudstreet “Soaring the American West” An adventure documentary − To be produced by KNME Albuquerque. − Looking for $145,000 in additional funding Growth and Development
  8. 8.  WGC - professional promotion firm retained  Print ads − More...  Bumper stickers  Social media FaceBook More… Growth and Development Strategy: Raise Awareness
  9. 9. Growth and Development Strategy: Inform LetsGoGliding.com Purely promotional Buttons on right side − More info − Where to Fly − Become a glider pilot − FAST!
  10. 10.  Identify our best “recruiters” − Recognize them  Soaring Magazine − Reward them  Contest rides − John Good − Karl Striedieck − Others? Growth and Development Strategy: Recognize & Reward
  11. 11. “Where-to-Fly” Database LGG web page click-through It's our “Yellow Pages” where they select a soaring operation near them Growth and Development Strategy: Route When they click on a soaring site, it’s up to that site to run with the ball.
  12. 12. Growth and Development Tactic: Do your part But if they fumble…
  13. 13.  “You are your web page” − Some are excellent. Others, not so much. Growth and Development Tactic: Update your web site
  14. 14.  2009 - 50% of clubs unreachable − Number not working − Phone rings  No answer  Machine - no call back  Angry ex-member says, “Those guys are bums” − 50% of e-mails never answered Growth and Development Tactic: Answer the Phone! (e-mail too)
  15. 15. Some will click on Google Maps, enter your GPS location in their PNA and drive to that exact spot.  You'll yell at them  Airport Manager yells at you  The wannabe glider pilot gets chased off  Nobody will have a clue what happened Growth and Development Tactic: GPS Coordinates
  16. 16.  If they do manage to find you... − Do you have a welcoming plan?  Or will they be ignored? Growth and Development Tactic: Welcome Visitors Do you have useful signs? − Show them where to go − Keep them safe?
  17. 17.  If they make contact, they're interested but...  Unknown and scary territory  What kind of people fly gliders?  Will I seem stupid?  Is it dangerous?  What friends think? Growth and Development Tactic: Know Your Prospect
  18. 18. Growth and Development Tactic: Upgrade Facilities They expected this ? But found........
  19. 19. $115,000 Perkoz in 2010 = $8,000 L-13 in 1963 $125,000 ASK-21 in 2010 = $9,870 2-33 in 1966 Prime interest rate Euro-Dollar exchange rate Growth and Development Tactic: Upgrade trainer Fleet New trainers bring instructors our of hibernation
  20. 20. Growth and Development Tactic: Introductory Ride • Develop Mission Plan – Use best glider & smoothest pilot – Short ride in calm air – really! – Then, 2nd ride in soaring condition • Talk about what gliders can do • Talk about your XC flights
  21. 21.  SSA is putting serious money into promotion  Please help us grow Growth and Development Requires a partnership

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